This review will cover what bags you should be putting in your Kirby vacuum cleaner, depending on model. For example you have a G Model Kirby but the bags they make for them are the yellow paper bags, magic micron bags, Magic Micron HEPA Bags, and 3m HEPA Bags plus Enviro Care and DVC both make a aftermarket cheaper bag as well. Any of those bags will fit on a G Model Kirby vacuum cleaners so which one do you use? This review will cover the standard bags you should use based on your model of Kirby. It will also give suggestions on how to improve your filtration of your Kirby or the power of your Kirby. It will give the specifications of all the different types of bags and go into how the filtration system on a Kirby vacuum works.
First of all lets cover the G models of Kirby models of Kirby and the type of bags they had with them when they came out. These are the bags suggested you use by Kirby and the ones they were designed to be used with.
|Vacuum Model||Type of Bag||Bag Rating|
|Generation 3||Yellow Paper Style 3|
|G4||Magic Micron||down to 1/3 of 1 micron|
|G5||Magic Micron||down to 1/3 of 1 micron|
|Gsix||HEPA Magic Micron||down to 1/10th of 1 micron|
|Ultimate G||HEPA Magic Micron||down to 1/10th of 1 micron|
|Diamond||3M HEPA||down to 1/10th of 1 micron|
|Sentria||3M HEPA||down to 1/10th of 1 micron|
|After Market||DVC bags|
|After Market||Enviro Care bags|
Kirby has done a great job of making their parts affordable to the public, that's why you almost never see after market bags. I would suggest going with the Kirby Genuine bags. The only point in going with the after market bags is for those people that have to save a few pennies. They seem to work well but are not the same quality as the genuine Kirby vacuum bags. We sell the Enviro Care vacuum bags but only for those people that are trying to save a few pennies. I suggest using the Kirby Vacuum Genuine bags.
How does the Kirby Vacuum Cleaner filtration system work? There are 4 main parts to it. The disposable bag, the outer cloth bag, the fill tube (that dumps dirt into the bag), and the mini emptor (or bag boot, it connects the bag to the actual machine). A lot of people don't know this but the outer cloth bag is actually part of the Kirby Vacuum Filtration system. In other words not all the dirt is caught by the disposable bag, the air has to pass through the outer cloth bag as well and that bag is filtration as well. For example the filtration difference on a Generation 3 Vacuum cleaner outer cloth bag and a Gsix vacuum cleaner is a big difference. A lot of people will think that they don't need to upgrade to a Gsix vacuum for example because they can just buy the Gsix vacuum cleaner disposable bag and run it on their Generation 3 vacuum cleaner. Its true, it will increase your filtration but because your outer cloth bag is different it still wont have the same filtration as the Gsix vacuum cleaner. However most brand new Kirby vacuum cleaner bags come with advanced filtration. For example if you owned a Generation 3 vacuum cleaner and bought a brand new outer cloth bag for it the ones we sell are automatically upgraded to Micron Magic filtration (way better than the old Generation 3 vacuum bag). So if you want to upgrade your filtration without buying a new vacuum cleaner you can just buy a new outer cloth bag. The other parts of the Kirby filtration system are the fill tube and the mini emptor. These are worth mentioning because of the Gsix and newer models where they are running HEPA filtration bags they made the fill tube bigger (and it seals better so you have less leakage) and they improved the air flow in the mini emptor (so you don't lose as much power).
What is HEPA filtration? Hardly anyone knows what HEPA filtration is but they think that its cool and they should have it. There are good and bad points to HEPA filtration for more on that check out my review. For this review all we need to know is the definition of HEPA filtration. "HEPA is a dense micro glassed fiber based filter paper which is tightly pleated for all surface area. The efficiency of a real HEPA air filter should be 99.97 percent for particles 0.3 microns or larger." So really Kirby Vacuum bags from the Micron Magic (model G4 and up) and newer is HEPA filtration. If you look at most HEPA filter vacuum cleaners they will have just the bare minimum rating to be HEPA filtration. So when Kirby came out with the branded HEPA filtration bags they blew away the minimum rating and then some. So if you have allergies or asthma the Kirby HEPA bags will do HEPA and then some.
What is the downside to HEPA filtration? There is one downside. For a tighter filtration it takes more power to push through the bag. Kirby solved this on the Gsix and newer models by redesigning the mini emptor, and bag fill tube to allow more air flow to increase power. Then when it hits the HEPA bag it lowers the power. So then it all evens out because of the increased power on those models. Now remember, Kirby vacuums are the most powerful residential vacuum I have ever seen. So for someone who wants to put the HEPA Micron bags in a G4 or G5 you can do it and they will fit but, however, you are going to decrease your power a little bit. You probably won't notice it because of their power but there will be a decrease.
So what is the difference between the normal Kirby Vacuum Micron Magic HEPA bags and the Kirby Vacuum 3M HEPA bags? The main difference is the 3M bags are more expensive and they are larger. They will hold more dirt before your filtration starts cutting out. Because they are larger and have more surface area they will allow more air through and you have less of a chance of losing power. So if you want to run HEPA bags in your Kirby vacuum cleaner I personally think the 3M HEPA ones would be better because you should have less loss of power. They are more expensive but the 3M HEPA bags are the best bags you can buy for your Kirby.
So I decided to put the Kirby Vacuum Bags to a Test. I used an Airflow Meter which measures airflow, it has a spring attached to a ball and a scale of 1 to 10 the higher the number the more power and airflow. I took a Kirby Vacuum Ultimate G and I put the Kirby Vacuum Micron Magic HEPA bags on and hooked up the Airflow tester. It pulled a 6.5 on the meter. Then I put on the Kirby Vacuum 3M HEPA bags on the Airflow tester and it pulled a 7. So it did have a little more power with the 3M.
So now you should have a complete understanding of the Kirby Filtration System So here are a few things I would do.
If I owned a Gsix Kirby Vacuum or newer and I did not have a problem with allergies or asthma I personally would consider running Magic Micron Vacuum bags. They are cheaper and with those models. I could get more power out of my vacuum because less would be used by the HEPA Vacuum bags. Remember the Gsix Kirby Vacuum and newer models are designed to have the same power or more than the previous models while running the HEPA vacuum bags. So if filtration was not important to me I could get some extra power out of them.
If I owned a Generation 3 Kirby Vacuum I would always run Micron Magic bags in them. I would not run the yellow bags in them (they don't filter that well). I would not run HEPA bags in my G3 Kirby either.
If I owned a G4 or G5 Kirby Vacuum I would run the Micron Magic bags that are technically HEPA filtration. If I had really bad allergies or asthma and wanted to bump up my filtration I would use the 3M HEPA bags.
If I owned a Gsix Kirby Vacuum Cleaner or newer and wanted the best filtration I would use the 3M HEPA bags. If you are looking for another vacuum cleaner (maybe you need one in your basement) we sell all the high end ones and feel free to check out our website.